Apple's New iOS Could Change the Game in Energy

Apple's new home kit for iOS could change the way you look at energy.

Jun 3, 2014 at 4:26PM

Over the past decade, there has been a major shift in the way we produce and use energy around the world. Hundreds of thousands of homes have gone from consumers to producers of energy with solar, smart appliances and devices are turning off energy when we're not around, and advances in demand response have allowed for the market to put a price on energy efficiency. We're no longer just plugging into the grid and paying a bill -- consumers are now part of the energy process. 

That's why Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) announcement yesterday that it is launching a home kit on iOS devices is so important for the future of utilities, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Mobile devices that millions of people have on them at all times will now become key to how we consume energy. 

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You may soon be able to charge your EV with energy stored from solar power all with a single app. Source: SunPower. 

Energy apps are going to be everywhere
Apps that tell consumers about their energy usage are still in their infancy despite how central energy is to our lives. Until recently, there simply haven't been any options to interact with energy on mobile devices, but that's changing. 

Scty Installers

SolarCity workers put up a residential solar system. Source: SolarCity.

SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) both have apps that display power generated by their solar systems and with both testing energy storage that will more than likely be added to apps as well. An interesting output for both apps could be the ability to control both charging of things like electric cars as well as the ability to contribute to demand response systems.

Last year, I talked to former SunPower executive and current Solar Grid Storage CEO Tom Leyden about how his company was going to monetize batteries in renewable energy storage. He said that energy storage would allow commercial consumers to reduce demand charges (charges for peak demand) as well as by contributing to energy markets like PJM. So, interacting with energy storage is more than a toy, it can make renewables and energy storage economically viable. 

Scty Storage Inverter Highrez

SolarCity's energy storage unit, powered by Tesla batteries. These may soon be central to controlling your energy. Source: SolarCity.

EnerNoc (NASDAQ:ENOC) has led the charge into demand response and already has a large network of commercial customers who are paid just to conserve energy. A home kit from Apple could make it possible to make similar changes to energy consumption available to every consumer and on a much grander scale than EnerNoc's network. It could even open up new business opportunities for demand response.

The companies I'm most interested to watch here are SolarCity and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), which are tied at the hip because Elon Musk is a board member and CEO, respectively. They're already working together on energy storage and it could be seamless for them to allow control of when and how to charge an EV and contributing to the grid when it's economical. 

Opening a world of possibilities
Apple may not be an energy company but it has a platform that will allow emerging energy companies to innovate and bring new business models to energy. This will be a boon to renewable energy, energy storage, and efficiency and it has to have utilities scared about the future. 

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Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Apple and SunPower and is personally long shares and options in SunPower. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and SolarCity. It owns shares of EnerNOC. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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